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Keys to the Palace: Beal and Porter have the best performances to start 2017

Let’s hand out some digital hardware to start the new year!

San Antonio Spurs v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The first week of 2017 is now in the books! The Wizards went 2-2 as they lost to the Rockets and Mavericks last Monday and Tuesday, beat the Timberwolves at home last Friday, and beat a Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks team on Sunday. The Wizards are back to .500 once again with an 18-18 record.

Let’s hope they can get past that hump when they play the Bulls on Tuesday.

Keys to the Palace

Bradley Beal, 25 ppg, 3.3 apg

Beal scored 22 or more points every game this past week. His most notable performance was on Tuesday during the Wizards’ loss to the Mavericks. He scored 25 points, but also dished six assists while only committing one turnover.

Otto Porter, 12.8 ppg, 5 rpg 3.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 2 bpg

As a shooter, Porter was not in form like he has been most weeks. But Porter finds a way to get involved one way or another, even if his points aren’t there. During Sunday’s win over the Bucks, Porter scored 13 points ,but also managed to grab 7 rebounds and dish 7 assists. He also blocked two shots and stole the ball once. John Wall and Bradley Beal may be the faces (#1 and #2 respectively) for the Wizards, but Porter has become a solid #3 option in his own right.

Guest Passes

John Wall, 19.8 ppg, 11.3 apg

At this point, we expect Wall to put up around 20 points and 10 assists each night. So, that alone isn’t going to give him a key. If there was something he could have been better with, it was turnovers since Wall had five each last Monday against Houston and five more against the Bucks on Sunday.

His best performance was on Friday against the Timberwolves when he scored 18 points and dished 18 more assists.

Markieff Morris, 15 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.3 apg

Morris scored in double figures every game last week. With the exception of Sunday’s 20 point, 10 rebound performance against the Bucks, Keef hasn’t been totally spectacular or terrible. He’s just been the definition of a guest pass.

Marcin Gortat, 12.8 ppg, 13 rpg, 2 apg, 1.3 bpg

The Polish Machine grabbed over 10 rebounds a game every game last week and scored in double figures. His best game was on Friday against the Timberwolves when he shot a perfect 9 of 9 from the field en route to a 19 point, 10 rebound performance. But then he only scored 7 points against the Bucks on Sunday. Whether it’s simply having less touches or because his shot wasn’t in form, that drop off puts him into pass territory.

Kelly Oubre, 7.8 ppg, 4 rpg

The sophomore wing played 23 or more minutes in three of the Wizards’ games last week. His best performance was on Sunday when he scored 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting which included three three pointers. In fact, Oubre has made two three pointers in three straight games since he was scoreless against the Rockets last Monday.

Jason Smith, 4.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg

Smith’s highlight performance was a 10 point performance when he shot 5 of 8 from the field against the Timberwolves last Friday. That performance was his saving grace from a lockout. And though he doesn’t get many highlights, he also made some nice dunks like this one against the Timberwolves.

Sheldon McClellan, 2.7 ppg, 1.7 rpg

McClellan played 10 or more minutes in each of the Wizards’ last two games against the Timberwolves and the Bucks. Though he was scoreless last Friday against Minny, he still dished three assists. And on Sunday, McClellan scored 8 points and grabbed 3 rebounds in just 12 minutes of play. Making things happen, even in limited minutes are a quick way to gain more playing time, especially for someone in his shoes as an undrafted rookie.

Trey Burke, 1.3 ppg, 3 apg

If you look at Burke’s field goal percentage of 25 percent, that’s almost an automatic lockout. However, he only made 2 of 8 shots, so it’s not exactly a big sample size. I give him a pass because he averaged 3 assists and less than a turnover per game. His best performance was against the Bucks on Sunday when he dished five assists and didn’t turn the ball over. Since Burke has been tapped to be the backup point guard, you want to see that played deliver those kinds of numbers on a consistent basis. Burke did that last week.

Locked Out

Marcus Thornton, 5 ppg

Thornton’s best performance was against the Rockets last Monday when he scored 7 points in 18 minutes. However, he had the Wizards’ worst plus/minus rating (-9.0) last week despite playing just two games and averaging about 17 minutes in them. And he has received two straight DNP-CD’s since then as Sheldon McClellan received more time.

Too little time for an evaluation

Andrew Nicholson only played five minutes in the Timberwolves game when he scored two points and grab one rebound. Daniel Ochefu and Tomas Satoransky did not play at all.

Out due to injury

Get well soon Ian Mahinmi and Danuel House.